Winter Sparks and Noisy Table ping pong invite visitors to interact with the artworks at FACT

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 December 2012
a film still of lightning effects against a black background
© Alexandre Burton

Exhibition preview:  Winter Sparks and the Noisy Table at FACT Liverpool until February 24 2012

An interactive programme of works is taking gallery visitors in Liverpool into the winter with an electric programme of impressive large-scale reactive installations exploring the relationship between art and science.

Visitors to FACT are being invited to subvert the traditional role of the contemplative, intellectual  gallery visit as they explore the galleries and atrium and become part of the artworks. 

Personal light and sound shows with electric sparks, interactions with dramatic charges from Tesla coils and mysteries of the Wilberforce pendulum are among the interactive pleasures that await in the works, which are being seen and experienced in the UK for the first time.

Dutch artist and academic Edwin van der Heide’s Evolving Spark Network mirrors the human nervous system and is triggered by the motion of visitors who cause electric sparks of sound and light to a dart across the gallery space in distinct visual and sonic generative patterns.

Canadian artist and composer Alexandre Burton’s Impacts is a ‘live’ sculptural installation consisting of Tesla coils fitted with a glass pane suspended from the ceiling. The presence of the visitor activates an impressive audio and visual experience involving arcs of electricity of variable intensities and a “rhythmic articulation” generated by the impact of the electrical arc on the glass.

Spain-based Bosch & Simons’ Wilberforces refers directly to a scientific phenomenon known as the Wilberforce Pendulum in which a hung spring moves from vertical motion into rotation without adding energy from an external source.

And if this cavalcade of interaction doesn’t leave visitors suitably satiated they are invited to partake in Will Nash’s Noisy Table, an augmented ping pong table programmed with a digital library of sounds that make music and sounds as games are played.

  • Winter Sparks has been Curated by FACT’s director Mike Stubbs and is accompanied by a full programme of events.
  • The Noisy Table is available 12pm to 6pm daily (11am to 6pm on Saturdays). Outside of these times, it can still be used if players bring their own bats and balls.
a photo of people in a darkened gallery with lights in the ceiling
© Edwin van der Heide

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